Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm Back! For Real This Time

Wow, it's been a while. Let me explain- our hard drive on our computer crashed and we weren't sure we had all of our pictures. I thought I had been backing things up to our external hard drive, but apparently I wasn't doing it correctly, so they weren't there. A few days of panic, despair, and tears ensued, with us believing we had lost all the pictures from 2008-2009 (including Drew's birth and first year of life), but through Snapfish and this blog, I believe we'll be able to recover most of those pictures. Whew. However, the past month has been incredibly busy and transferring things to the new computer has been a total pain. In addition to the pictures, our iTunes library has required a lot of work. We were able to recover all of the songs we had purchased over the years on iTunes, but all of the songs we'd downloaded to our song library from our own CDs have to be reinstalled, so Mike has been doing a few CDs each night, trying to get us caught up. Technology is wonderful until it fails, right?

So much has happened in the month that I've been AWOL. We've gone from a 2007 MacBook to a 2011 MacBook Pro, and with the updated iPhoto and everything else, I'm still getting used to everything. So I have no idea how these photos will upload to the blog. I may not get them in order, so just bare with me. One thing is for certain- I can now upload 5 pictures to Blogger in a fraction of the time it used to take me to upload 3 pictures. Amazing.

Jake loves to climb. He is constantly trying to climb up on anything and everything. Recently, Mike was with him and he did this.

Here are some oranges I carved for the boys right around Halloween. I first scooped out all the flesh inside, cut it all up, carved the faces, and then loaded the orange pieces back in. The boys loved them. I did them a second time the night we went trick-or-treating and made different faces for all 7 kids.

Who needs toys when you can play in a plastic bin or with pots, pans, and a wooden spoon.

A couple of weeks ago we got our first snow. It was only a few inches- 3 to 5, maybe, but Zach and Drew were so excited. They were both out there in their snow gear before Zach's bus picked him up at 8:20. I joined Drew after I put Jake down for his nap around 9:00, and we stayed out until after 10:00.

Before going down for his nap, Jake enjoyed Drew throwing snow at him.

When I went outside, I asked Drew if we should make a snowman, and he said, "Yes! The snow is perfect because it's very wet and sticky!" So we made this lovely little guy with crazy acorn eyes.

For Mike's birthday, he treated himself to a very nice putting green in the basement. So now everybody's putters are down there, and they are one of Jake's favorite toys to play with. As I posted on Facebook, I guess it's just an innate desire for Burggraaf boys to want to hit a little white ball with a stick, because Jake could do it all day long. I'm still waiting for the first time he swings the club and whacks himself, a dog, the wall, or, most likely, me.

When Jake isn't hogging their putters, Drew and Zach like to practice their short game, too.

Mike and I went to the Zac Brown Band concert recently with our friends Troy & Jen and BJ & Carey. Going into the concert, we actually only knew 1 song by this group (we're not big country music listeners), but we like that song a lot, and we knew that given the company we'd have, it'd be a good time. And it was. Great music; not too twangy. I like how a lot of country songs tell a story, and Zac Brown didn't disappoint me with some of his.

Here are Troy and Mike, with Mike wearing Troy's daughter's hat. Oh, wait, I think that's actually Troy's hat. Gotta love a cowboy hat with Mike's purple golf shirt.

Troy & me before the concert.

Carey and Mike before the concert.

Drew, Jake, and I have a standing date on Monday's at the grocery store. Last week Drew didn't feel like pushing his own little cart, and the truck carts just don't work because they all have broken seat belts where Jake needs to sit. So after walking for a bit, I convinced Drew to just ride up top with Jake. Our normally 1 hour + grocery trip only took 45 minutes. I think maybe Drew will be riding up top a lot more often. At one point, towards the end, I looked up to see Drew kissing Jake on the head. The next thing I knew, Jake kept leaning on Drew, snuggling up to him. It was very sweet. You can tell this is towards the end of the trip and that Jake was near the end of his rope because he has his binky, which I usually only give to him at nap and bedtime.

Wow, the order is definitely messed up. Anyway, here are Zach and Drew at trick-or-treat night at Living History Farms. They went with Mike a couple of days before Halloween, and I stayed home with Jake.

Zach got to have a special outing with Dad the next day to the Hawkeye game, just the two of them. Lucky for Zach, it didn't rain on them this time, and the Hawkeyes won. I think he really enjoyed the one-on-one time with Dad and felt like a big kid, getting to sit with Dad, Uncle Will, and Will's brother Rob.

The cabinet locks are out! Jake loves to open the cabinets and see what he can find. I have a feeling it's only a matter of time before he figures out how to get the locks off. Then we're in trouble.

Sometimes I don't lock the pantry. It's ok, because for the most part, I don't care if Jake empties it out. The only problem is that he has a tendency to grab the bag of pretzels and sort of mash them up, and that's not so good. Last week while I was busy getting Drew and Zach breakfast before school, Jake got into the cabinet and was exploring. The next thing I new, he out out he bunnies and was having a little pre-breakfast snack.

Jake continues to expand his palate. One recent hit was basic spaghetti (only we rarely use actual spaghetti noodles).

Jump back a few weeks. Zach, Drew, and I carved pumpkins.

They both wanted scary faces, and they told me the shapes to make the eyes and nose, and how many teeth they wanted. We roasted the pumpkin seeds and they were perfect this year. YUM! We didn't carve the pumpkin Zach grew out in our backyard because it was still a little green. We've now picked it, but haven't done anything else with it. I should do something with it, but I'm not sure what.

Here are the boys on Halloween. Last year at Target we bought a couple of costumes after Halloween for 50% off, and Zach picked a fairly expensive Hulk one that I told him he could get only if he used it for Halloween this year. At the time he agreed, but over the course of the last year, I felt kinda bad about making that deal. However, I didn't want to buy another costume, so I was thankful that when I suggested being Marvin McNutt (one of Zach's favorite Hawkeye football players), Zach was totally on board. Drew originally wanted to be Buzz Lightyear, but again, I was loath to buy a Buzz Lightyear costume, so I suggested being a firefighter and having Jake be his dalmation, and he loved that idea. Another bonus for me- we already had both costumes! So, we spent zero dollars on Halloween costumes this year- yippee!

We went over to our friends BJ and Susan's house on Halloween and trick-or-treated with their girls, Anna and Lucy, and with Susan's sister's family. Here are the boys with Lucy and Anna as Supergirls.

And here's the whole trick-or-treat crew. Drew as a fireman, Kate as Dora the Explorer, Zach and Jake, Lucy, Anna, Abbey as Supergirl, and John as the Green Lantern (??).

The kids had a blast trick-or-treating. Abbey (6.5 years), Zach, John (5 years), and Anna (4 years) were fast and ran from house to house, while Drew was sort of in the middle, and Kate and Lucy (both 2 years) took up the back. Drew was so cute. At each house, he'd stop on the porch after getting his candy, turn to me, and shout, "MOM! MY FAVORITE! A ________!!" It didn't matter what it was; it was his favorite each time. Then, whereas the older kids would bolt off the side of the porch and run across the lawn to the next house, Drew would walk down the steps, take the walkway to the driveway, walk down the driveway to the sidewalk, and go to the next house. At one point I finally told him, "Drew, it's ok if you cut across the lawn tonight." He was just so sweet and had so much fun.

Jake was a very good sport, too.

Jake turned 11 months old on Nov. 10. At 11 months, he is just such a fun little thing. He loves to clap and shake his head when we say no. He's inquisitive and seems to really be figuring things out. He loves to see how things work. He also seems to have a bit of Drew's dramatic side (sigh).

Great, blue font. Sorry. Jake isn't walking yet, but he stands so well without holding on. Zach and Drew seemed to walk before they really felt very comfortable standing for long periods without holding on, so this is different. He did take 2 steps the other day, but nothing more than that. I think he'll be walking soon, but I don't know if it will be before his first birthday in a couple of weeks.

Here's Jake copying the silly face Drew used to do. I love it!

Ok, sorry for the absolutely unorganized, random post. I hope to get back to regular posting soon and maybe things will actually be in order again.